Small hoteliers here have been told that the success of the tourism sector depends on keeping on top of the competition in an ever-changing market environment.
The advice came from Tourism Minister Ian Douglas when he addressed the start of a workshop, at the Fort Young Hotel, on “Marketing Techniques for Small Hotels”, which is expected to run for five days over a three-week period.
He said that the emphasis must be on “increasing the quality and quantity of our products as well as taking new marketing initiatives to ensure that we remain relevant in an ever expanding and diverse competitive market.”
The Tourism Minister noted that the small hoteliers are the owners of the Dominican experience: “When someone travels, they usually anchor in their place of stay.” This means, he said, that the small hoteliers become the people to whom the visitor will turn to for advice. “What you say to them, the people you put them in touch with will determine the quality of their experience. In certain cases, it will determine whether they come back to Dominica and to your property.”
Douglas urged the hoteliers to ensure that providing a quality service – and not money – is their primary motive. “You can’t think that because bills are due and you may not have other guests for the week that all of a sudden the price for your product and service goes up. That is short-term thinking, and will only come back to haunt you.”
The main facilitator of the workshop, Nikima Royer-Jno Baptiste, said that there was a need to improve the quality and quantity of Dominica’s products. Through the workshops,” she said, “we will provide you with the tools and the necessary skills for you to be able to take a closer look at your properties and determine what needs to be done and how to do it.”
The workshop will cover areas such as marketing, brand recognition and awareness, attracting the right players and targeting segmentation.
The workshop is organized by the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank (AID Bank) in collaboration with Caribbean Technology and Consultancy Services (CTCS).